The Maruti Suzuki Alto has always been one of the bestsellers from the stables of the company. Maruti Suzuki recently announced that its Alto range, which includes the Alto K10, Alto 800 and the Alto CNG have crossed the one lakh sales mark in the first five months of 2017. Truly astounding! In fact, the Maruti Suzuki Alto has been topping the sales charts for close to 17 years now. The Maruti Suzuki Alto has been a significant contributor to the dominance of the company in the Indian passenger car segment over the years.
The Maruti Suzuki Alto is the most affordable car from the Maruti Suzuki stable and yes, there are concerns with regards to space in it, but clearly, the buyers out there want something with a good design and good fuel efficiency too. According to some statistics shared by Maruti Suzuki, nearly 25 per cent of Alto sales contribution comes from young customers less than 30 years of age and this contribution has grown by 4 per cent in the past three years.
Maruti Suzuki first launched the Alto in the Indian market in September 2000 and in the 17 years of its existence in India, the company has upgraded it time and again to keep up with the demands of the customers. In the first three years of the Alto's launch, it clocked 1 lakh of cumulative sales. During 2016-17, Maruti Suzuki exported over 21,000 units of Alto to markets such as Sri Lanka, Chile, Philippines, and Uruguay and this is in addition to domestic sales.
Maruti Suzuki has regularly upgraded the Alto with the latest technology and new features. Maruti Suzuki has also equipped it with an Auto Gear Shift Transmission (AGS) technology which makes the Alto the most affordable automatic car from Maruti Suzuki. The demand for the automated manual transmission variant has seen a rise too and the demand is an ever growing one.
While Maruti Suzuki has had its fair share of success with the Alto K10 and the 800 cc variant, it is currently working on bringing out a new generation of the car and we've already told you all about it. Maruti Suzuki is working on a concept car that will showcase the direction the Alto family will take post 2018. The concept car will be teased at the 2018 Auto Expo in Delhi.
The Maruti Suzuki Alto has been facing tough competition recently, from the Renault Kwid and some of the others like the Datsun redi-Go. In the first eight months of FY 2016-17 Alto sales have taken a hit. Sales have declined by 7.4 per cent to 1,62,894 units, while the Renault Kwid has shot up to 73,676 units from 11,044 units sold in the same period the year before.
Maruti Suzuki will use the top to bottom approach when it comes to new-gen Alto, so we expect a whole bunch of changes in the field of advanced connectivity and a better user interface. expect it to get a good infotainment system and expecting Android Auto and Apple Carplay also won't be a far fetched idea. But considering the segment, we don't expect the fit and finish of the system like that on both the Ignis and Baleno. In fact it will be a segment first if it does come. The Alto will have to have these options considering the Kwid already comes with a touchscreen infotainment system with navigation. These next few months are crucial then as we wait to find out what Maruti Suzuki has in store for us.